I have a reader who likes to mention, frequently, voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party, a group that rounds off to non-existent, a handful of members, that stood outside one polling place, one time. I wonder what she thinks of this:
NEW YORK – As the elections approach, strong enforcement of voter protections is needed to prevent attempts to block voters from casting their ballot, according to a report released today by voting rights groups Demos and Common Cause. The study, “Bullies at the Ballot Box: Protecting the Freedom to Vote from Wrongful Challenges and Intimidation” focuses on voter protection laws in 10 states where elections are expected to be close, or where large challenger operations are expected or have taken place during recent elections.
True the Vote and other Tea Party-affiliated groups are reportedly recruiting 1 million volunteers to object to the qualifications of voters in targeted communities on and before Election Day, according to the study. These volunteers are being rallied to block, in their own words, the “illegal alien vote” and “the food stamp army.” Their stated goal is to make the experience of voting “like driving and seeing the police behind you.”
“Ballot box bully” tactics include:
· Targeting registered voters in communities of color, student voters, and voters facing foreclosure to challenge their eligibility to vote and kick them off the voting rolls.
· “Hovering over” voters waiting to cast their ballots and otherwise intimidating voters at the polls.
· Encouraging states to engage in systematic purges of voter rolls, in violation of federal law.
Just in case their attempts at voter suppression don't work well enough, teabaggers, since they know their message isn't strong enough to carry the day on its own, will take it even further. For those voters who manage to get through their laws blatantly designed to prevent votes from legitimate -- but minority, sick, elderly, non-native -- citizens, they have plans. Scare them off. Threaten and harass them. And, unlike the NBBP, this is evidently hundreds of thousands of angry haters of democracy, all across the nation.
Tell me again: who loves America? Who understands and accepts the importance of voting by all citizens?